Sunday Smatterings

Jonathan Littell tells the WSJ that promoting THE KINDLY ONES in the US is not his job, but maybe his aversion to selling himself in America has more to do with the fact that reviewers here are (with some exceptions) discovering the book is an unmitigated turkey?  And no, I haven’t read it and likely won’t, in part because I spent the bulk of my childhood having the Holocaust jammed down my throat with the kind of blunt force trauma jackhammer that makes a nearly 1000-page novel on the subject rather unpalatable.  And I also hope Tova Reich (also published by Harper!) reviews TKO somewhere.

Actually, I think I’d rather read this based on Liesl Schillinger’s review in the NYT.

The other big story this weekend is David Peace, whose Red Riding Quartet has been adapted for the screen by Channel 4. The Observer talks with the guys who transformed the books into film, while The Times has its own profile of the author.

And the third big story? Charlotte Roche’s WETLANDS, natch. The Globe & Mail is all over it with Lisa Carver’s review and a roundtable discussion by Elizabeth Renzetti, Michael Valpy and Tabatha Southey on the book’s merits, or lack thereof.

Big story number four: D.T. Max’s cover story in the New Yorker on David Foster Wallace’s unfinished novel THE PALE KING – with excerpt included!

Speaking of adaptation, Salman Rushdie is skeptical of the whole enterprise.

Dave Zeltserman and his very dark fiction is written up in the Boston Globe.

Barry Forshaw attempts to explain the enduring appeal of Agatha Christie. Though with the “refuse to die” tag, perhaps it’s time to rewrite Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple with zombies?

From last week: Oline Cogdill profiles John Hart, who is taking part in Sleuthfest this weekend.

Tom & Enid Schantz review new mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear, Michael Walters and Deanna Raybourn in the Denver Post.

The Guardian’s Matthew Lewin is more than won over by the fourth Dexter novel by Jeff Lindsay.

Dick Adler is over the moon about STARVATION LAKE by Bryan Gruley, who also talks to the Chicago Tribune about his weekly hockey rituals and to the Traverse Record Eagle about appropriating the local landmarks for his debut. 

The G&M’s Margaret Cannon has her say on crime fiction by Arnaldur Indridason, Dana Stabenow, Earl Emerson, John Lathrop, Jacqueline Winspear and Michael Palmer.

Lenny Kleinfeld gets written up in the Chicago Sun-Times on his debut crime novel SHOOTERS & CHASERS.

As part of the Rocky Mountain News’ final edition, Mark Graham has his say on DROOD by Dan Simmons.

Speaking of DROOD, it’s part of a double review, along with Matthew Pearl’s THE LAST DICKENS, by the LAT’s Nick Owchar.

S.J. Rozan talks to the Connecticut Post about her new Lydia Chin novel and how the economy has affected her and her writer friends.

Laurel Maury is thrilled by the stuffed animals who populate Tim Davys’ noirish novel AMBERVILLE.

Charles McGrath kickstarts the inevitable John Cheever bandwagon in advance of Blake Bailey’s mammoth biography of the man. But here’s my question: even though Adam Begley beat him to it, surely I can’t be the only one who wants a Blake Bailey bio of Updike?

Richard Rayner explains the buoyant appeal of Eric Kraft’s trilogy-in-paperback FLYING.

Pat Ryan presents a sampler of the work of Damon Runyon, someone else who should be better regarded than he is now.

Rege Behe interviews Philipp Meyer, whose debut novel AMERICAN RUST has received plenty of good notices for its depiction of hardscrabble life in the rust belt.

Also in the WSJ, Lydia Millet looks at WATCHMEN, the comic, in advance of the movie’s opening this Friday.

Can Canadian Liberal party leader Michael Igniateff be best understood by reading his novels?

Alex Haley had Scottish roots, as per the Telegraph’s report.

Canada Reads will be discussing OUTLANDER by Gil Adamson, who tells CanWest News Service she’s surprised and pleased about the selection

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO has hit Sweden’s silver screen, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s seen all over the world.

This is the worst nightmare of anyone connected to book publishing.

And finally, how will we know the rest of the story now?